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the change has acted as a bounty. And in this triple race of the English labor against machinery, — against Irish competition, against infant competition, — has lain the real opening and possibility for that cruel encroachment upon infant health and happiness, which has at length awakened the thunders of public indignation, never again to be laid asleep. At present there is this one sole barrier of self-protection for English labor ; viz. the high domestic standard of comfort inherited from English ancestors. Left to itself, that barrier, so long assaulted and shaken, would soon give way entirely; and the English labor market would be finally prostrated to a level with any, the very basest human degradation ever witnessed amongst Oriental slaves. This protection, if it survives at all, will survive through the yet energetic spirit of the English working man. But in the accidents of his situation there is one collateral encouragement to the English native. Machinery, which has so often stranded him for a time, is at length likely to depress the bounty on Irish intrusion; the infant-labor revolution probably has reached its maximum; and, in the mean time, Ireland, it may be hoped, by railroads, by good government, and by growing capital, will soon be preparing better days for her own children at home.
NOTE 33. Page 118.
“ The last result." — A remark very nearly approaching to this is made by Edmund Burke in some part of the little “Essay on Taste," prefixed to his “Essay on the Sublime.” Burke, however, a very young man at the date of that work, was not sufficiently cautious. At that time his philosophical reading and meditation could not have been extensive, and he neglected to qualify the resulting definition as the real one, in contradistinction to the nominal. Naturally, and almost inevitably, the nominal definition goes before the discussion; since, without some prepinys, or rough circumscribing outline of the subject, a reader cannot be supposed to know the very object or substance of the inquiry.
Note 34. Page 119. Says Ricardo," — i. e. says by the tenor of his argument, says implicitly, else he does not say so explicitly; for the case itself of the coal-cellar is not his illustration, but mine.
NOTE 35. Page 121.
William Jacob, F.R.S., stood in a position of advantage, on a sort of isthmus, for judging of any question in economy relating to agriculture; for (on the one side) he was well read in the literature of Economy, and (on the other) he was practically familiar with the whole condition and details of rural industry in this island. His “ Considerations on the Protection required by British Agriculture,” in 1814, is a valuable work. And the talent, together with the moderation and the knowledge displayed in it, recommended him subsequently to the government as a commissioner for inquiries into Continental agriculture.
NOTE 36. Page 128.
“Eternal encroachments of rent,” – eternal by an argument ad hominem, which neither Sir Edward West, the original discoverer of the doctrine, nor Ricardo, was in any condition to refuse; as to them, the encroachments are eternal. But I have repeatedly urged elsewhere, that this law is checked by an opposite law, — this tendency is neutralized from century to century by a counter tendency.
NOTE 37. Page 137.
“Westwards.” — It would be mere pedantry to refuse this brief terminology, derived from the theory of maps. The diagram is treated as a map, or chart, in which the upper side is by ancient usage the north, &c. The advantage for the diagram is, that a single word does the office of a very operose circumlocution.
NOTE 38. Page 138.
“Inaptitude.” — The facts overlooked in Ricardo's position are two ; — 1st. That by original conformation of mind, like some other powerful and original minds, he found no genial pleasure in communicating knowledge; 2dly. His mind was in a fermenting state, so that his knowledge was often provisional and tentative. The prodigious events of his era, the vast experiments (even in the relations of commerce and political economy) forced upon nations by the Titan struggle of England with a barbarizing despot, taught him often to suspend, to watch, and to listen, as it were, for something yet to Hence it happened, that certain great principles, few, but suf
ficient, for a total revolution in economy, - these he held with the grasp of Talus, the iron man of Crete. In the outlying parts of his own system, meantime, he was sceptical; and what was not determinate to himself, he could not make so to others.
NOTE 39. Page 140.
Might rejoice." —No, he might not rejoice. In any case he is bound to mourn, says the man of the superannuated economic systems smashed by Ricardo. But why does he say so? Consistently enough: his doctrine, his creed, is known: wages, for him, constitute the basis of price. Do wages happen to rise under a rise of wheat ? Prices, he holds, must rise commensurately. Ergo, as all men use grain or other landed produce, to him it seems that all prices must rise; and pro tanto. But we, Ricardian Protestants, know far otherwise. Even the novice is now aware that a rise in wages would leave prices undisturbed. And now, perhaps, by this practical application of his knowledge, the novice begins to suspect that his studies upon value were not quite so aerial.
NOTE 40. Page 146. “The case c.” – One, and perhaps the very largest, vice in the science of teaching is, that the teacher, chained up by his own subjective preoccupations, cannot see with the eyes of the novice; cannot dismiss his own difficulties, and enter, as into an inheritance, upon those of his pupil. Not until this moment did it strike me, that the reader, having lately heard and read so much of the land-scale, (which means the devolution of culture through all gradations of soil, from optimism down to pessimism, in order to meet the expansions of population,) will naturally suppose that Ricardo's table rests upon a basis of that kind; that the case c, for instance, means land which is one degree worse than that in case B. Not at all. A, B, C, D, and E, all represent one and the same soil, but continually forced, by other soils, into fresh expansions of rent.
Note 41. Page 147. “ A similar reason,
– viz. because 30 quarters out of 180 being now disposable for rent, leaving only 150 for wages and profits, then by the rule of three, — 150 : 180 :: £4 : £4 16s.
Note 42. Page 160. “An inversion of the same formula.” — Such an inversion, the reader may fancy, might escape a clever man's eye for itself, but hardly when pursued to its consequences. Mr. Malthus, however, has persisted in this blunder, even where it was so pursued, and where it deeply affected the inference; viz. during his long attempt to overthrow Ricardo's doctrine of value. He refuses to see, nay, he positively denies, that if two men (never more, never less) produce a variable result of ten and five, then in one case each unit of the result has cost double the labor which it has cost in the other. On the contrary, because there are always two men, Mr. M. obstinately insists that the cost in labor is constant.
NOTE 43. Page 174. In reality, the disposition to the engrossment, by large capitalists, of many farms, or of many cotton-mills, which is often complained of injudiciously as a morbid phenomenon in our modern tendencies, is partly to be regarded as an antagonist tendency, meeting and combating that other tendency irregularly manifested towards a subdivision too minute in the ordinary callings of trade. The efforts continually made to intrude upon the system of a town, or a quarter, by interpolating an extra baker, grocer, or druggist, naturally reacts, by irritating the counter tendency to absorb into one hand many separate mills, &c., or to blend into one function many separate trades. In Scotland, for instance, grocers are also wine-dealers, spirit-dealers, cheesemongers, oilmen.
NOTE 44. Page 183. “But not until the downward tendency of interest,” &c. — And, on the other hand, by parity of reason, if, 1. through draining ; 2. guano ; 3. bone-dust; 4. spade culture, &c., the agriculturists of this country should (as probably they will if not disturbed by corn traitors), through the known antagonist movement to that of rent, translate the land of England within the next century to a higher key, so that No. 250 were to become equal in power with the present No. 210, — and so regressively, No. 40 equal with the present No. 1, - in that case all functions of capital (wages, rent, profit) would rise gradually and concurrently, though not equally. Through the known nexus between landed capital and all other capital, it would follow that all manufacturing capital (wages and profit) must rise; since, after all,
however far removed by its quality or its habits from agricultural industry, not the less the very ultimate refinements of industry in the arts or manufactures must still come back to the land for its main demand, viz. of beef, mutton, butter, cheese, milk, bread, hides, barks, tallow, flax, &c.; even for the haughty artist of cities, the coarse rural industry must be the final vis regulatrix. This being so, it follows, that under an advance in our agriculture, such as even the next generation will probably secure (through the growing combination of science and enormous capital), profits must rise in their rate, and therefore interest. Consequently, it will not then answer to the government, under the legal par of the English funds, to borrow for the sake of paying off any stock whatever. They will not be able to obtain money on any terms that could offer a temptation for paying off a 3} per cent stock.
NOTE 45. Page 185. This circumstantiality is requisite, because there is another Monsieur Say in the market, of whom (being dead I believe) it may now be said, without offence, in the words of an ancient Joe Millerism, that if he is a counsellor also, he is not a counsellor likewise.
NOTE 46. Page 189. These courts for insolvencies, as well as for bankruptcies, present many openings for discovery to the political economist. In the course of this very examination, another truth came out which may serve to convince the “knowing” men upon town, that they are not always so knowing as they think themselves. What notion is more popular amongst the prudential masters of life, than the hollow pretensions of cheap shops, and the mere impossibility that they should have any power to offer “bargains ?” Now, few people are more disposed to that opinion, as generally sound, than myself. To see “tickets" or "labels” indicating prices below the standard, is for every man of sense a caution against that establishment. Yet still the possible exceptions are not few. In this instance, it was proved beyond a doubt, that for many months the bankrupt had gone upon the principle of raising money, for his own instant uses, by selling the Parisian goods below the original cost of the manufacturer. Su dishonorable practices certainly soon exhaust their own principle of movement. But, in so vast a community as London, always there must be new cases arising ; consequently, always there must be some limited possibility of real bargains.